Sales of building products up in February

Total Builders’ merchant value sales were up 4.0% in February compared with February last year. Five categories did better: Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+7.9%), Timber & Joinery Products (+6.6%), Ironmongery (+5.0%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+4.6%) and Workwear & Safetywear (+4.5%). Six categories grew more slowly, including Heavy Building Materials (+3.2%) the largest category. Only Tools sold less (-1.6%).

Month on month

Overall sales in February were 1.8% higher than January. Four categories were stronger, including Landscaping (+8.2%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+6.5%).

Average sales a day in February (which takes trading account of two fewer trading days) were up 12.0% compared with January. Landscaping (+19.1%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+17.1%) and Heavy Building Materials (+13.1%) did better. All categories out-performed January.

Other periods

The first two months of 2018 were 6.1% up on January and February 2017. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+9.3%) did best, with Ironmongery (+8.5%) also performing well. With one more trading day this year, average sales a day in January and February were up 3.6% year on year.

The latest three months (December 2017 to February 2018) were 4.2% up on the same three months a year ago. Workwear & Safetywear (+9.1%) did best. Heavy Building Materials (+2.9%) grew more slowly.

The rolling 12 months March 2017 to February 2018 were 5.3% above the same period a year earlier.